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New Uses For Old Things - Book Review

I enjoy reading the “New Uses for Old Things” column in Real Simple magazine, because getting rid of clutter and re-purposing things in your home is always a good Feng Shui principle. In Feng Shui, clutter represents postponed decisions and the inability to move forward, so when you find a new purpose for those unused items that you have shoved into your kitchen drawers, stuffed into the guest room closet, or stashed in the basement, attic, and garage, you make room for new and better things to flow into your life. Now, the editors of Real Simple magazine have assembled a collection of their favorite new uses for old things in honor of the 10th anniversary of the magazine. The book, Real Simple: 869 New Uses for Old Things, is an alphabetized list of suggestions for re-purposing everyday things, ranging from newspaper and plastic baggies to CD cases and kitchen appliances, and dozens of other items that you have hidden, and not-so-hidden, around your home.

I especially like the suggestions that relate to clutter-clearing, such as new uses for newspaper. Newspaper is a notorious source of clutter in many homes, but there are many Feng Shui-friendly ways to re-purpose your stacks of newspapers, in addition to recycling them. Newspaper is absorbent by its design because it has to soak up ink, and that means it can also absorb all sorts of moisture around your house. Try a few of these new uses for your newspapers.

• Deodorize food containers. Stuff a balled-up piece of newspaper into a lunch box or thermos, seal it, and let sit overnight.
• Ripen tomatoes. Wrap them individually and leave them out at room temperature.
• Pack delicate items. Wrap frames and figurines with several pieces of newspaper, then crumple the remaining sections to fill extra space in the box.
• Wipe away tough streaks on glass. Use newspaper instead of paper towels to clean mirrors and windows.
• Preserve antique glass. Remove smudges by rubbing with newspaper dipped in a solution of one part white vinegar and one part warm water.
• Dry shoes. Place crumpled paper in your shoes and let stand overnight.
• Freshen the crisper drawers. Line the bottom of the refrigerator veggie drawer with newspaper to keep it dry and odor free.

I reviewed my own copy of this book. New Uses for Old Things is available from Amazon.com. Click on the box below to preview some of the pages in the book, and to order your copy.



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